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The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Preservation
Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:23 AM EST

I'm back from vacation, and I feel refreshed. Just before I left, I asked the members to think about what we should do with Groklaw now that Novell won, and SCO has filed an appeal. As I pointed out, Groklaw has achieved everything it set out to do, and since there can normally be no new materials introduced in an appeal, might this be a good time to take a breath and work on perfecting the work we've done? This could drag on literally for years, but it won't be events happening daily as it used to be, and so I had some suggestions on how I thought we could use the lull.

One choice is just to keep going as we were, covering other topics as we were and other cases; another was to stop and fix up any flaws in our historical collection of every important event in the SCO saga; and a third was for me to train others to at least do News Picks and the Timelines and maybe have guest articles while I worked on filling in the gaps.

I've read now what Groklaw members advised me, and I've decided. I think we need to use this time to perfect our work and ensure Groklaw's preservation. It will require shutting down the daily articles and News Picks, at least for the forseeable future, but I'm convinced it's important to do it. One of the core purposes of Groklaw has always been to create a reliable record for historians and law schools to use our materials to teach and inform.

There is a very big problem, though, with digital preservation. Many members raised that issue with me, and so I decided that we do indeed need to address that. A university professor, as it happens, is working on a digital preservation project with his students, and I have been offered an opportunity to pick their brains, and I'm definitely going to do that. Digital preservation is no mean trick, and just as Groklaw has been cutting edge in other areas, I want to make a contribution by doing all I can to make sure our work doesn't fade away. We put our hearts and souls into putting together this library of SCO, UNIX and Linux history, and libraries have their own requirements and standards.

I would truly love to do both, because I love doing Groklaw, but I don't scale, so I had to choose. And I choose to make sure our work as fully reliable, comprehensive and, to the degree humanly possible, permanent. After we get the preservation work in gear, I will definitely begin to explain how to do a site like Groklaw. I have had a number of requests for information on how to create a site where the atmosphere is kept polite, for example. Actually, that's a book in itself. But I'll tell you what I have learned. FOSS's strength is that there's no one throat to choke, and the more people who know how to do a site like Groklaw, the better off FOSS will be. So that's my decision.

Would you like to know how you can help?

Groklaw's collection of materials is really valuable. I'd like to ensure that it survives. I know many of you have mentioned this over the years, and I always meant to get to it eventually, but now seems like the time. We've covered the SCO litigations since May of 2003, and it's the only complete record of this important phase in IT history. Groklaw also made history, if I do say so myself, because it was the first time the Internet was ever used to put geeks together to help with distributed legal research.

Did we have fun or what? I've never had so much creative fun in my life.

While I always meant to do a clean up and preservation work at the end, the end kept stretching out more and more in time, and after almost six years of this, there is still no end in sight. My analysis is that SCO represents no threat to Linux currently. Even if it did, in an appeal you can't present new materials, usually, so it does seem like a good time for us to take a break and do the clean up now. I've already started going through my collection, and I'm having a blast.

Here's what I'd like you to do, if you are in a position to help out:

1. Contribute to the tip jar. If you aren't wiped out by the financial meltdown, please consider helping out with expenses as much as you can. Some of you have already, and I thank you. One reason there are some gaps in our document record is because it's very expensive, so sometimes I'd skip some of the lesser materials. That was fine for a narrative, but it's not acceptable for a library. And filling in those gaps will require money. It's funny, but in the beginning there was just SCO v. IBM, and the court made the documents available for free, if you remember, so we only paid for the ones we had to get from the court or for transcripts. But then there was Red Hat v. SCO, and SCO v. Novell, and then SCO v. AutoZone, and SCO v. DaimlerChrysler, and then the bankuptcy, the most paper-intensive and hence the most expensive of all. To your credit, you've carried that expense burden, and we mostly did it, but there is a bit more to complete.

2. I have in mind a new feature: to add to the end of each major article a collection of the best comments. There have been some wonderful contributions by you guys, and I'd like to make them easier to find. However, I can't do that by myself. I've written or published 3851 articles. That's more than one a day, obviously. Some of them have over a thousand comments, and it was nothing to have a hundred even on a minor article.

I got this idea from looking at some of the early articles' comments and because of the article on software patents and math. I was, frankly, so proud of the wonderful comments you provided, with links to substantive materials to support your points. I'd like to make it quick for people who don't have time to read each and every comment on each and every article to find the cream of the comments. If you would help me do that, I'd be thrilled.

Here is how: Just email me, please, let me know which article you worked on and give me the five or ten best comments you found. More or less. Less if there aren't five and more if there are twenty stupendous comments.

3. We desperately need to fix broken links, particularly on the early articles, and if that isn't possible, we need to collect the original articles/documents that were linked to. Remember how in the first year or so, we'd put up an article and it would suddenly disappear from SCO's site in a day or two? At the time, it made us laugh, but now I realize that we need to be certain we have copies of each and every disappeared document. That's why I've been going through my collection, and I'd like you to do the same. If you find a broken link and you have that article, please send it to me.

That means going through the articles, one by one, checking for broken links, fixing what we can by finding the article on Wayback or instead finding where the article moved to, and then, if that fails, checking our hard drives for any copies of materials no longer available on the Internet. If you see a broken link, can you please let me know? If you can find it on the Internet elsewhere, please tell me where, and if you have it yourself, please send it to me. I won't be able to answer all the emails, so forgive me, but if everyone helps, we'll be successful in this work.

In my experience, the easiest way to find it elsewhere is to copy one distinctive sentence and search for it in quotation marks. That seems to work the best. Titles don't work as well, because sometimes the same article shows up but with a slightly different title.

4. We have some ideas on how to organize our vast collection better. If you have ideas for particular permanent pages on a particular topic, let me know. How might people be trying to find something? Is there a way to make it easier? Ideas are very welcome. 5. We have all the exhibits from the Minnesota antitrust case against Microsoft, but we need volunteers to create a permanent page listing what the exhibits are. There are a lot of them. We also have all the exhibits from the Comes v. Microsoft litigation, and that page needs to be finished. So there is lots to do there. 6. Don't worry. Some tell me that if we don't have daily articles and News Picks, Groklaw will die. First, I don't really care about being popular. Second, I don't believe it. We have so many members, and so much work to do, I think we'll stay together. And we have a team set up to keep the Timeline pages up to date, and they'll be posting the filings from SCO's many adventures, so our collection will be complete. I just won't be writing articles about it. I noticed while I was gone that you guys had no trouble understanding the filings that showed up in my absence. I think my work of explaining the basics is done. And I seem to have developed an allergy to SCO and SCOfolk, I guess you could say. How many times can I write about SCO missing a court deadline because Christmas got in its way? It's the SCO Christmas curse. It's funny, yes, but you don't need me to explain that to you any more. Been there, done that.

Here is why I think this is so important to do. SCO kept changing its story. I never had the time to put up links to all the materials we found, so I'd triage to answer according to whatever the latest story was, but who knows what they'll dream up in the future? So, the best thing is to finish our work, put it all up in one place, and no matter what happens, the truth will stand, for those who are looking for it.

I hope you will help me, because I love working with you. I know from your comments, you feel the same. So. Phase II. Preservation mode.


  


Preservation | 360 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:26 AM EST
welcome back!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation - definitely a good idea
Authored by: TiddlyPom on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:31 AM EST
Thanks PJ and a Happy New Year to you (and to all the readers of Groklaw here).

Anything that means we can keep Linux alive and increasing market share seems
good to me and Groklaw certainly helps by the wealth of prior art and
as-accurate-as-we-can Unix timelines etc.

As you say, I think that disappearing articles may be a problem and don't
underestimate the extra storage needed if local copies are taken. It might also
be necessary to check whether it is legal to have local copies of all the links
(although what would I know compared to the legal knowledge here ;) )

If I can help I will.

---
Open Source Software - Unpicking the Microsoft monopoly piece-by-piece.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Comment Scoring
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 05:19 AM EST
Perhaps this is difficult to retro-fit to Groklaw, but a comment scoring system
(1-5 stars for example, as used by Yahoo and many others) would make like much
easier on you than reading 1000's of emails with list of comment IDs.

JMHO,
Nice to have you back.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, Off Topic
Authored by: Erwan on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 05:42 AM EST
I guess the popular OT thread is still OK.

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

Go for it!
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:10 AM EST
PJ,

It's obvious you put your "time off" to good use and have thought this
through clearly. After explaining it in your usual adept way, I absolutely and
totally agree this is the right thing to do with Groklaw.

Groklaw has the materials and there is so much more that can be done to make
them readily accessible, both for casual visitors or intensive research.

Groklaw has already set a stellar example of what can be done with a blog and a
large, interested following, but I think the best is yet to come. It will
snowball. Good data, well organised and preserved will just pull in more
interest. So Groklaw still has another example to set. It's still a game and
it should be fun.

One of the things that kept me coming back to Groklaw though was News Picks. I
can live without daily articles as we switch to preservation, but the Groklaw
News Picks was something so, so unique. I'll be very glad to see that return.
This again is something that should be helped by "many eyes".

Welcome back,

Dave

---
Monopolistic Ignominious Corporation Requiring Office $tandard Only For
Themselves

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:13 AM EST
The usual thing...

---
Monopolistic Ignominious Corporation Requiring Office $tandard Only For
Themselves

[ Reply to This | # ]

suggested project ..
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:17 AM EST
The legality of EULAs with links to ever changing URLS. As in the terms are
modified by terms at URL, that are modified by terms at URL ..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mad programmer's ideas here.
Authored by: Erwan on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:25 AM EST
If you have ideas or could help in building a library of PHP, Python or PERL scripts that could help with the task at hand...

---
Erwan

[ Reply to This | # ]

Tools to find broken links: LinkChecker and Linkchecker
Authored by: ak on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:41 AM EST

The LinkChecker Add On for Firefox can be used to find broken links on a single page.

There also exist tools for complete websites such as Linkchecker

Yes, both projects use the same name...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • wget is also useful - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:16 PM EST
  • LinkLint - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:22 PM EST
  • checkbot - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 03:46 PM EST
One request
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:48 AM EST
PJ, I think that the preservation of Groklaw is a fantastic thing and devoting
the effort to that end for now is well warranted.

I have just one small request. While the preservation project is ongoing, would
it be possible to keep the timelines for the various cases up-to-date with new
filings? As you said, no new evidence or arguments can be introduced in the
appeal, but the there still will be new filings, and most of us don't have our
own subscriptions to Westlaw or one of the other court research services. The
bankruptcy case will plod onward, and at some point I expect IBM to request a
lift of the stay in their case as well, so just updating the timeline would be
of great interest to me, and I know that many others would probably be grateful
for this as well.

Thanks, and congratulations to you and the Groklaw community for a job well done
so far.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Archiving and stand-off annotating
Authored by: Winter on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:56 AM EST

Preservation like intended means archiving and annotating. The three rules of Archiving are :-)

  1. Preserve the original
  2. Never touch the original
  3. Do not change the original
Maybe I should stress that, in addition, you should not work on the originals. This includes not correcting "mistakes" or adding later insights.

But you need to open the collection. That is done with annotations. There is the Text Encoding Initiative that handles everything you might want to do with adding information to a text archive.

Personally, I would advice to add corrections in overlays, so called stand-off annotation (this is from Henry S. Thompson). Here are some links to start:

For Groklaw this would mean that all original materials are preserved as published, but changes (corrections) are added as overlays (eg, diffs inserted before display). Any additions, like comment scoring or added links could also be added as overlays.

Rob

---
Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth lies probably somewhere in between.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 07:12 AM EST
Just because appeals aren't supposed to introduce new material doesn't mean SCO
won't do it, does it.

As long as DMB is employed and Novell owed money, SCO will lie cheat and get
away with it (in so far as it won't add any more punishment to them for abuse).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: JamesK on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 07:29 AM EST
I trust you had a nice relaxing vacation. :-)

---
There are 10 kinds of people in the world, those who understand binary and those
who don't.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell won?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 08:45 AM EST
I'm still wondering if SCO will manage to pull off some miraculous 11th hour
legal fu-jitsu move and manage to spin things into actually winning an appeal on
some technicality that allows them to keep the FUD machine rolling and get their
shares back up...

They're not dead yet...

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Novell won? yeah really! - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 09:44 AM EST
  • Caldera !! - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 05:01 AM EST
  • Good riddance - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 02:11 AM EST
It's good to have you back.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 09:43 AM EST
First of all, thank you PJ for all the incredible work you have done. It has
been invaluable.

Your site has helped me to open the door to FOSS as a serious consideration in
my workplace. Your news picks have been invaluable to bring a constant stream
of "Did you see the article on Groklaw this morning?" to management.
It has been an addiction and a tool. The news picks will be sorely missed. If
it is at all possible, do you have anyone that you could feel comfortable
delegating that responsibility to? I understand and support your decision if
you can't.

It really, really helped. Slashdot and others just did not do it as well.

Thanks.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: ralevin on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 10:56 AM EST
It occurs to me (and I find it amusing) that this should lead to a distinct
increase in quite a few people's productivity to thier employer (including
mine). Sort of an economic stimulus....

But this seems like a good time to say thank you to everyone - I've learned a
lot on a wide variety of topics over the past few years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • :D - Authored by: DaveJakeman on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 11:13 AM EST
The day the music died
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 10:57 AM EST
I was wondering when Groklaw would die, and where we are.

Groklaw needs to keep current and follow other cases and new developments.

Most especially with Novell/SCO and the other parts, IBM, RedHat, AutoZone, etc
etc, as they happen.

But in no way can Groklaw can rest on it's laurels and stagnate, if so, it will
die a slow, boring death.

If GL does nothing new, it will definitely stagnate and die.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good to "hear" from you PJ
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 12:05 PM EST
I was starting to get worried that the SCO marksmen didn't take Christmas off.

Seriously, it's good to see you're back and OK.

If ever a vacation was deserved, then yours was.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who had dark thoughts on the absence of your
postings......

Dude.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trustworthiness
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 12:45 PM EST
I'm anonymous. I sign my posts, but I don't have an account. There's quite a
few other folks here without accounts who contribute.

We also have anonymous trolls.

These two points create a problem with picking the "best" comments.
How do you know that the pickers are trustworthy?

Slashdot has a moderation system, so that users pick the best comments, but then
it has a "meta-moderation" system to judge the quality of the
moderators. That seems like it might be overkill here, but I only see two
alternatives:

- Allow only people with accounts to pick the best comments on articles (which
limits the number of workers).

- Have someone trusted pick a few articles per worker (or per IP address, or
some such) and judge the quality of the picking of best comments (which adds
overhead).

But basically, I don't think there's any way to solve this problem without
adding some kind of overhead.

MSS2

[ Reply to This | # ]

What about IBM?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:24 PM EST
Groklaw now that Novell won, and SCO has filed an appeal.
But Groklaw started with SCO and IBM suit(s) which is (are) still stayed. There are still certain issues that remain unresolved like UNIX code in Linux.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Guil Rarey on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:36 PM EST

What are we preserving?

1) The primary document collection: This is a collection of all the filings in
all the cases, and all related regulatory filings. As primary source material,
this is fantastic stuff and is worth archiving unto itself.

2) PJ and other's major research articles and commentary. Also worth preserving,
but, PJ, really, it's a long way from finished but what you have here is the
rough draft of a really good book. You might consider consolidating, editing,
and partially rewriting the articles as a book. If you do, do preserve the
articles as written, warts and all, but presenting a consolidated view of the
whole story might be worth it.

3) Sussing out significant commentary within the discussion threads. Worth
doing as a gloss on the preserved articles, but also, if preserved anywhere but
on Groklaw or a direct mirror of the site, do we need to worry about copyright
on the comments?

Me and my analytical brain need to get back to work...

---
If the only way you can value something is with money, you have no idea what
it's worth. If you try to make money by making money, you won't. You might con
so

[ Reply to This | # ]

There's one question left
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:41 PM EST
Why didn't Allison Amadia grab the opportunity to change the contract clause
about the transfer of claims related to the Business instead of changing the one
about no transfer of copyrights?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Who is the target audience?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:43 PM EST
Who is the target audience for having this research material as state of the art
legal material?

Don't get me wrong, but does not the legal people have better systems in place
for handling legal research?

It seems to me that the current value for Groklaw is mostly anti-FUD. All the
lies from the case mean that the freedom haters by selective quoting can keep
the FUD going for eternity. If Groklaw becomes silent as active commentary of
FUD then the research material present here does pretty much loose it potency.
Most listeners will not have the patience to do legal research on the Groklaw
collection, but just assume the FUD-spreader is talking truth. We present here
can use it for some effect, but at the end of the day we are just random voices
on Internet that few will listen to.

I would think that expanding the Groklaw methodlogy to a network of other blogs
that cower Groklaw topics would be a good reason to drop work at the Groklaw
itself. I don't think that filling the blanks is of any practical value...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Use tags for scoring
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:56 PM EST
Suggestion:

Allow tagging for comments!

This will allow scoring comments, with a convention of tagging with stars, as in
*, **, ***, ****, *****.

This way one can achieve the same as with scores, but then also more, since tags
are free-form.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Preserving digital text and still graphics on microfilm
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 01:58 PM EST
One way to digital text and still graphics is to *drum roll* - convert them to
analog.


Printing "everything" out to microfilm isn't cheap, but in principle
it is human-readable with the aid of simple tools and if it's not color it lasts
for generations.


In principle, you can also print the digital files to microfilm if you provide
detailed documents about how the data is formatted.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Links to best news sites
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:05 PM EST

Andy Updegrove posts his own newspicks, as does Roy Shestowitz at Boycott
Novell. And where does SJVN work these days? There are some blog links on the
left side, so maybe those could be reorganized to show the best daily sites.

Let's see some suggestions for best permanent links for our daily news fix.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation : Laura and Me
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:16 PM EST
Does this mean that I can take the "Laura and Me" link
down from my website ?

/Arthur

[ Reply to This | # ]

Completing the record requires a record of the Appeal.
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:28 PM EST
It seems to me that completing the record would involve covering the appeal.
Although as PJ points out new materials should not be introduced there will of
course be briefs, oral arguments and decisions.

---
Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:29 PM EST
$ wget -o /dev/null -O - http://groklaw.net/robots.txt
User-agent: *
# Block Generic Directories
Disallow: /admin/
Disallow: /backend/
Disallow: /cache/
Disallow: /help/
Disallow: /images/
Disallow: /layout/
Disallow: /mycal/
Disallow: /pdf/
Disallow: /quotes/
Disallow: /staticpages/

# index - only allow the first page
Disallow: /index.php?

# Block All "detailed" php bits
Disallow: /article.php
Disallow: /calendar.php
Disallow: /calendar_event.php
Disallow: /comment.php
Disallow: /links.php
Disallow: /newsitems.php
Disallow: /pollbooth.php
Disallow: /portal.php
Disallow: /profiles.php
Disallow: /search.php
Disallow: /submit.php
Disallow: /users.php
Disallow: /usersettings.php
$

[ Reply to This | # ]

No longer any reason to read this site
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 02:30 PM EST
As a very long-time reader, and sometimes contributor to this site, I have to
say it's sorta bad way to leave us.

I started reading this site when the site first started, there were a lot of
lulls over the time, but now it's the end.

as such I no longer have any reason to read this site, and I expect a large
majority will be joining me.

Groklaw was really good at times, excellent or better in cases. Some of the
politics was way over the top and got sickening though, a lot of people left.

PJ needs to reconsider, there are a lot better, professional resources for
"archiving" such information, lots of alternatives exist. But GL
should also reconsider not covering other things, unless this was just a hobby,
and if it was, it's done now.

I'll miss the good times, but I won't necessarily miss the site, as strange as
that sounds after all these years. I notice the IRC channel has been dead for
practically ever as well (which is sorta typical).

So I wish good luck, I say goodbye, and whatever happens happens, it was sorta
nice knowing you all.

Yes, I have an account but I haven't used it in years.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 03:57 PM EST
> Would you like to know how you can help?

While I support this goal, I'd actually like to know how I can help get the very
real need for up to date legal news and commentary covered some other way. Does
anyone have suggestions for other sites that can continue this side of Groklaw's
work? Should we start one?

- cjb

[ Reply to This | # ]

Huh?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:34 PM EST
Are you saying it is over, finished, no more?

No chance of being overturned on appeal?

And what about the IBM lawsuit?

The value - for me, as a non-legal reader over many years - of Groklaw was on
one hand the immediate news about what actually happened in the lawsuits and on
the other hand the commentary to the news. Personally, I wouldn't know what to
do with a Groklaw preserved for posterity.

But anyway - thank you all for all the hard work put into the site by PJ,
supporters and commentators. It was very informative as long as it lasted.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Following the appeals
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:40 PM EST
Let me put in a vote that continuing with some low level of coverage of the
appeals process would still be interesting. Those of us not in the legal
profession do not have experience in what filing an appeal is like, and as
others have suggested, the players in the this case may likely try to find ways
to cheat and introduce new material in the appeals cases anyway.

Also, the bankruptcy case and the arbitration in Switzerland are also
continuing, and there might be interesting stuff from there.

So my suggestion is that a low level of status updating might still be
appropriate, even while the preservation tasks take priority.

Would that be possible?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:45 PM EST
I've followed this effort since the beginning. Learned a ton, so thank you.

I have to agree with the person who said, "don't touch the
originals".

Frankly, I don't understand why Groklaw just isn't archived as a static
collection, then annotated with some entry pages. This leaves the time line,
discussion threads (and that's where a TON of insight lies), and all of the
conclusions in place.

There is the dissappearing document problem still. The only answer there is to
just go and obtain as many of them as possible, then fix links. Agreed on
that.

I suspect there will be a fair number of these that no longer exist. That again
is a case for preserving the commentary as well as the overall information over
time as I believe was proposed by PJ.

Having accomplished that, this then becomes sco.groklaw.net, and is static, and
the new groklaw.net starts running as it should.

Maybe, maybe consider each major new case getting a similar identifier when
warranted, so that preservation is a notch easier next time?

some_bad_old_company.groklaw.net would then be the front page for that
discussion, operating much as this one does now. If one were to just go to
groklaw.net, there would be a summary, news items, changes and such.



Thanks again.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Preservation - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:49 PM EST
Too big to fail
Authored by: mpg on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 04:53 PM EST
Of course I fully respect PJ's right to do whatever she wishes, but I think I'm
not alone in looking for a bit of clarification on this, if only because it
seems like such a big shift to many of us:

Does the goal of preservation of the existing materials directly imply that
Groklaw will no longer be a blog-like resource for educated commentary on legal
affairs centering on the open source arena?

If the answer is yes, then we as a community should find a way to create a new
Groklaw, to track and fight the next SCO-like or OOXML-like affair that happens.
Would be tough to keep the quality high without PJ at the helm, but the
anti-FUD power of the "old" Groklaw is too big to let go away.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 05:15 PM EST
There is value in the flaws, assumptions, conclusions etc made as the the
information by all parties was released and commented on ie as events unfolded.


I would suggest not going back and revising history (fixing errors etc), but
only annotate what corrections should be made (in the case of typos etc) or
observation of known future rulings.

In this way you can read the documentation forward and have to guess what the
legal strategies are and if they will work and you can also read the
documentation backwards (newest to oldest) to piece together how the legal
maneuvering failed.

My 2 cents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 05:22 PM EST
One option would be to improve the technology beneath the site.

1) It would not be too challenging to use HTTrack or some other site indexing
service to create full copies of external web sites and store them for
preservation.

2) It would only require a little more work to create a system for monitoring
those sites for changes, and creating backups only when content is altered.

3) It would only take a little more work to create a system that notifies people
when things change.

M

[ Reply to This | # ]

The message is important, but so is the messenger.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 06:43 PM EST
"It was the first time the Internet was ever used to put geeks together to
help with distributed legal research."

I cant disagree with the importance of preserving the materials (the message),
but...

It would be a tragedy if the community didnt preserve this great meeting place
between IT and Legal People (the messenger).

bug1

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe somebody else should take over groklaw?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 06 2009 @ 08:03 PM EST
Groklaw is something like an established brand name. Groklaw has been quoted -
or mentioned - in many major publications, groklaw has has won many awards, and
has substantial, established, reader base.

Groklaw is not just about the scox case. Groklaw has covered, in considerable
depth, many legal issues relating to IT. For example the OOXML scam, or the
pants suit.

Although I would welcome PJ to write more articles, I think groklaw is well
established enough to survive without PJ.

JMHO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A few more stories needed
Authored by: newton on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 12:25 AM EST
Hi PJ.

I think there's still room for a handful more stories.

Towards the end of this piece on preservation, you mentioned that SCO kept
changing their story and that it was never possible to work out what they'd
dream up next.

Well now we have the complete cronology, and we can look back on the early days
and see what they thought up next.

We can see the shifting sands of their narrative, the lines of argument they
abandoned, and the lies they told. It's all buried in Groklaw's archive, but
it's in separate threads which are yet to be drawn together.

I think there's room for some articles to give "closure" to the story,
which go back to the early days and follow some of their more important or
outlandish claims from the beginning all the way through to the end.

Most of us don't have the expertise to do that, but some people in this
community do. That's always been the biggest strength of this website.

As the story draws to a close, it needs its epilogue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Suggestions for distributing the contents
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 12:47 AM EST
When it comes to digital preservation, the rule of thumb for me is spread it
like wildfire. Which means in the case of groklaw, I'd suggest the following:

Bundle all official documents into one tarball, including the original pdf and
where available the txt versions of all actual legal documents. At the top
level of the archive, have the timelines, with links pointing to subdirectories
in the archive.

Once this is created, put Bittorrent to work. Have a single "download the
complete history of the SCO litigation proceedings" tarball that is passed
around again and again. Should be signed and all other current technological
measures applicable used to be able to verify a given download is the
"real" download. As hard disk storage continues to grow it should be
considered a mere nothing to have 30+ gigs (or whatever it turns out to be) of
historical information stowed for safekeeping - with 1000 gigs no longer being
something that causes raised eyebrows the limitation is now bandwidth - hence
using bittorrent to let everyone help spread it around. The more the merrier,
and the more who have it the better it's chances of surviving for the long
haul.

The comments are a tougher problem and will take longer, but the official record
itself (minus holes) is already well organized and I think is the logical place
to focus initial efforts. After that the more time consuming task of groklaw
generated content can be focused on with the complete official records archive
as a starting point.

Thank you for a magnificent effort and contribution to informing the world.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation - Standby mode ON
Authored by: SilverWave on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 02:02 AM EST
Welcome back PJ :)

Yep you/we won so this makes sense.

Its a bit sad but nothing stands still.

Thanks for all the hard work over the years and all of the valuable insights you
have provided.

---
RMS: The 4 Freedoms
0 run the program for any purpose
1 study the source code and change it
2 make copies and distribute them
3 publish modified versions

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 02:32 AM EST
- Fight and inform about patents
- More actively try to reach and educate politicians, decision makers and law
students

- closely monitor donations/bribe money and unethical influence by monopolic
companies on politics and business.
- analyse repressive software EULAs and see if/how they could be challenged.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation - respect your decision but...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 10:22 AM EST
PJ,

I respect your decision. This is your blog site, and you do what you feel
is important. I also agree that preserving the SCO saga is important, you have
created a historical document.

However I am concerned. The saga is not over, if you consider the saga as
attacks on an open source operating system. There are still lawsuits being
filed against Linux distributors, and threats against Linux distributors,
alleging Linux contains proprietary intellectual property.

There is still the broader issue of how the legal system interacts with
information technology. In this regard, I have found your blog extremely
informative. You have provided a perspective into the legal system I'd had no
clue about.

In this regard, I have found your posts uniquely informative, and I thank
you very much for your viewpoints and informed opinion. Because of the new
direction you are taking this blog, I fear the loss of your insight in future
legal shenanigans unrelated to SCO. The RIAA and MPAA are still out stirring up
trouble. The RIAA has dropped Media Sentry, and going with a new investigative
company. Microsoft has yet to specifically identify the patents Linux
infringes, a new trial has been ordered for Julie Amero, who's forensic expert
was not allowed to present his evidence because he had not disclosed it to the
prosecutor in time, just to name a few issues at stake. I ask myself, who else
might provide the insight into these legal issues the way you have.

I hope the archiving and preservation project can be quickly put in place so
that your unique abilities might soon made available here. As an individual who
has data on paper tape, five and a quarter inch floppy disks, three and a half
inch floppy disks, and some even on reels of nine track tapes, the last which I
can no longer access, as well as CDs, DVDs, SD memory chips, and hard drives, I
can appreciate the effort that is required to make sure that all the information
here on Groklaw is both preserved for the long term, and is accessible.
Considering the long term changes to come in the next ten years for both data
storage, and data access methods, I don't envy your task. For all we know,
Microsoft might come out with some new file storage standard that is completely
incompatible with everything we have today, and that might become the defacto
industry standard. So I really appreciate where you are going with this SCO
saga to preserve it for posterity.

A long time observer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 10:46 AM EST
Thank you for your site P J and your desire to want to know the truth.

It's fascinating to see how the law works concerning the IT world.

I look forward to working with you.

MikeP9

[ Reply to This | # ]

Education
Authored by: vb on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 11:58 AM EST

I understand the usefulness of preservation. I have a strong feeling that there
are not very many court cases (with the size, duration, and complexity of the
SCO litigation) that have as much legal documentation converted to plain text
and HTML. It's surely got to be a law school gold mine.

That brings me to my point: education. For me, Groklaw is mostly about
education. I've been reading Groklaw since May 2003. I finally created an
account a couple of years later. Following that SCO cases has been truly
educational. PJ, along with many insightful commentators, have provided a
wealth of education. Worthy of note of are a few seminal posts by PJ analyzing
significant and complex SCO filings. The "English" translation and
analysis made it possible for a non-lawyer, like myself, to follow the magic
tricks that SCO performed.

There has been plenty of court drama and entertainment too. The SCO fiasco has
been interesting and entertaining to follow in a way that few intellectual
property court cases will ever match.

Here is my plea: don't stop the educational focus of Groklaw. There are plenty
of other intellectual property disputes that will rock the technology world.
Those future case may also require the collective memories and experience that
many Groklaw readers, including myself, have. Keep us engaged with news and
interesting court cases and we'll be here when the next SCO-like monster
emerges.

vb

[ Reply to This | # ]

The mark of a great artist is knowing when to stop.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 12:38 PM EST

Now Groklaw's appeal will be greatly diminished
  When PJ's new input is gone,
But it's better for something to be "great" and "finished"
  Than "all right" and "still going on".


-Wang-Lo.
(paraphrase of remark by Roy Blount Jr.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation: Others Are Working On It
Authored by: DaveAtFraud on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 01:20 PM EST
I finally got around to reading the treeware version of the January issue of Scientific American. Besides the usual fascinating articles on all sorts of science stuff, there was an article entitled "Science 2.0". This article looked at how many researchers are now actively collaborating online using tools like wikis and such. This led to a discussion of digital preservation that pretty much matches P.J.'s original post for this discussion. I will point out that "science" researchers face a far more difficult problem since new discoveries continually reshape the science landscape (as opposed to SCO just continually re-inventing the past to remove inconvenient facts).

One of the online contributors to the article (SA posted an early version on their web site) pointed out that a group is currently working to adress this problem and pointed readers to WebCite. I suggest we see how many of the issues regarding preservation are already being addressed by this and other groups.

Also, responding to one of the previous posts suggesting that nothing be changed, I would add that that doesn't stop us from creating an updated version that includes corrections and having a link to the original. We may find the "link rot" has already made "changes" that can be fixed but only by modifying the original. That is, the original no longer reflects it's original content.

Cheers,
Dave

---
Quietly implementing RFC 1925 wherever I go.

[ Reply to This | # ]

If one stops growing...
Authored by: OrlandoNative on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 01:56 PM EST
...one eventually dies.

Groklaw is and was like an organism. Organisms which don't grow usually die.

In the online world, it's only slightly different. While a site may not be
entirely lost; if it fades from interest; eventually it becomes hard to find;
even with the search engines.

Also, one must remember that this site did not *start* out with the SCO vs
Novell litigation - it started out with the SCO vs *IBM* litigation, and is that
completely over yet?

While I don't disagree that an effort should be made to ensure the preservation
of what is *already* existing on this site; I think the site itself has
'outgrown' *just* being about SCO, IBM, Novell, or any *one* (or even a few)
lawsuit(s).

There will be legal issues involving software, licenses, copyright, and other
'internet age' concepts for some time to come.

Perhaps we should allow the site to continue to 'grow' as the participant's
interests expand...

Just a thought.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"what we should do with Groklaw now"
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 03:51 PM EST
I would suggest to continue coverage of the SCO vs. Linux
fight till all SCO claims against Linux will be dropped
either by SCO or by the appeal court(s).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation - Write a Book!
Authored by: MattZN on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 04:40 PM EST
What an incredible Saga this was. I've had Grok on my daily read from day-1 and
I have to say I'm a bit sad to see the final chapter coming to a close.

PJ, you absolutely MUST write a book. Don't try to wiggle out of it! A book is
the single best way to preserve the essence of what Groklaw did here. Don't
even worry about losings creds by taking advantage of our capitalist society
('cause I just know that might be the only thing stopping you). You MUST write
a book! I promise to buy ten copies and leave them to my kids.

Digital preservation is the pits. It's hard as hell to do. A Book will last
longer.

-Matt

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, Please Reconsider
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 07 2009 @ 08:10 PM EST
You may not be appreciating how helpful you have been to people involved in the
"open source principles" struggle (as your mission statement phrases
it), and how hard it would be for us to obtain such links and insightful
analysis elsewhere.

Here is one example which comes to mind, your "What is Wrong with
RAND?" analysis:
http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20080417104016186

Some of us are out here every day fighting pitched battles within our
organizations trying to justify policy and real world decisions having impacts
on millions of lives, against the types of disinformation campaigns you write
about in that article.

If we are to accomplish any change and actually win these battles, we need all
the ammunition we can get. Large-scale behavioral, attitudinal and
organizational changes are always tied together with legal and policy
rationales. Yours was the best supportive analysis ammunition available, the
best justificiations we could point to for counter-arguments against the
previling proprietarily-enforced wisdom, and you are taking it away!

The SCO battle was a tiny spec in the grand scheme of winning this stupid war
for tech freedom. I don't want to lose such helpful analysis just as we are
starting not just to defend ourselves against massively funded unfree
opposition, but actually trying for once to go on the offensive.

Please reconsider, PJ!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Backseat Driving
Authored by: sproggit on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 01:50 AM EST
With so many threads and ideas in the comments to this article, it would be all
too easy to post a reply here that ran for pages and pages.

But in the interests of brevity, there are two critical thoughts I'd like to
share.

The first may be self-evident - apologies if so - but it's important. PJ made a
masterful understatement when she wrote about Groklaw in terms of the time it
has run. For us that may be true: for PJ this was undoubtedly a life-changing
experience. We got to read and comment about articles - PJ had threats against
her safety, not to mention mud-slinging from sleazy and unscrupulous so-called
journalists. So, request to all - before we post any more articles here that can
be paraphrased with a statement along the lines of, "What I want out of
this..." let's all have the decency to pause and reflect on the immense
personal contributions of people like PJ, Steve Martin, Mathfox and others.

Personally, the only significant comment I can make at this juncture is,
"Thank you," and to show my appreciation with another financial
contribution.

Finally, just a proposal... and I have no idea if this would be possible... but
is there any way that this site would fit onto one or a small number of DVDs
such that they could be sold as an "Application"? Doing so would help
preserve the content since by making copies we improve resilience of the
underlying data. It becomes available for legal students and technology
historians alike, through sale of the DVDs we may be able to create a fund to
preserve this web site, etc.

Microsoft have a habit of borrowing other people's ideas. A FOSS version of
Encarta with Groklaw content, anyone?

Just a thought.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Grokline's Unix History chart.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 09:47 AM EST
Does anyone know the current status of this project, did it ever get completed?

[ Reply to This | # ]

I hope that Preservation isn't the final word
Authored by: sgtrock on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 10:15 AM EST
Personally, I find it sad that Groklaw is becoming an archival site. Don't get
me wrong, I think it's a noble cause and a worthy one. However, I think
choosing that to be Groklaw's goal for all future activity is a mistake.
Groklaw is unique in that it brought together lawyers and technical types to
address shared interests and issues. The dialog here has been generally civil
and constructive. The analysis of the shared documents was outstanding. No
place else on the Net offers the same amalgam of factors that made this site so
valuable.

I predict that unless the dialog continues around related and/or new topics, in
less than six months Groklaw will become a mere shadow of its former self. The
need for archiving is nowhere near a compelling enough reason to draw people
back day after day. :(

It's been a fun ride and a wild one. I hope it's not over.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Where's the Red Dress ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 10:37 AM EST
Thanks for everything, PJ. I wish you could figure out some acceptable mechanism
to turn the stories and newspicks over to the comunity. I'm afraid that without
those the community you created will mostly disperse, and thus the larger
community will be deprived of a valuable tool which in my mind seemed to be just
beginning to manifest it's potential. I have greatly enjoyed your work over the
past years, and have found it very useful and inspirational. I will sorely miss
it. God Bless you.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Mini GL's"
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 12:01 PM EST
The part I'm looking forward to is lessons on setting up and running a site like
GL. No doubt folks here will be interested in issues like patents and tech, and
non tech matters like health cases or political cases.

For me it's elder abuse and elder exploitation. I'm aware of cases in Illinois,
for example, where conduct by the lawyers involved has been shameful - or FAR
worse. Despite huge amounts of documentation the courts just don't care
(professional courtesy to the lawyers involved??). Sites like GL don't exist
for such activities but elders are losing millions or even billions of dollars
(in just 3 cases I'm aware of in Illinois, elders were or are being bilked -
with a blind eye from the courts and despite massive evidence - of almost $7.5
MILLION. That's THREE cases, folks. And EVERY one of the victims had Wills,
trusts, etc. - the lawyers who are involved know how to break them and the
elderly victims usually can't keep track of the complex scams used against
them). As the population ages, this is an area that will affect EVERY person.
But despite sites like the Illinois Atty Gen site on elder exploitation nothing
is done and the AG, law enforcement, and courts simply don't give a tinker's dam
- there isn't enough public outcry or open access to information about the
tricks and lies used to perpetrate the frauds. Illinois, for example, has NEVER
had even one successful elder exploitation lawsuit in a state of 18 million
people, over the many years since those laws were published, and with proven
losses and abuse. The AG, the IARDC, the JRB, at least three different bar
associations (Kane, Dupage, and Cook counties) are emasculated and worthless,
and in all three counties, the "review boards" are peppered with the
very people involved in the acts. Nice way to cover your tracks: first thwart
the law in court, tying up elders and bilking their accounts for "legal
fees", and then, if somebody complains, bury the matter in a
"committee".

That's what GL did to SCOG - made it impossible to hide behind lies or fraud.
Our elders (and soon, all of us) are affected by abusive and/or exploitative
attorneys and their accomplices like "court appointed" Guardians (God
help you if you get one of those in Illinois!). So you can see why I'm hoping
we'll soon have "Groklaw How-To" material: there are important matters
waiting to be brought to light, and the wide audience and open nature of a site
like GL will make it harder for perpetrators to commit their foul deeds.

[ Reply to This | # ]

the community?
Authored by: designerfx on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 05:06 PM EST
PJ, I think it's great that you want to preserve everything. I can think of
plenty of places that would help such as

However, a blog is all about new things coming in all the time - I'm sure you've
noticed your readership go way down without newspick updates and other things.
Additionally, you have essentially created a community from all this. It's not
like life won't go on without Groklaw, but honestly I am disappointed with just
giving it up. Groklaw was about covering the Grokster situation which has
nothing to do with SCO. We've evolved into the reality that there is more to the
situation than you originally start out with, and that has created what you have
right now.

So why give up now? There's been a lot that happened, but why not just hand it
off carefully and act as an overseer and teacher/mentor? I for one would love to
get advice on what you skim transcripts for to determine they are significant,
for example.

Heck, do some just plain old fun legal basics lessons. The public at large could
use that.

However, related things of significance are still going on that could use your
attention as it is clear that the whole thing isn't just about SCO.

[ Reply to This | # ]

O/T: SCOGBK#654 - Reorganization Pan
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 05:12 PM EST
It's up on epiq already. Skim read; no outside funding, otherwise
incomprehensible legalish for me :-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did I Miss Something?
Authored by: BitOBear on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 07:02 PM EST
Did I miss the resolution of IBM vs SCO? Wasn't that the original purpose of
this site?

In terms of the ongoing value of this site, the work as a watchdog and clearing
house for DRM related legal matters and technology vs law issues seems like a
valid purpose going forward.

Eh, not to be trying to elect PJ against her will, but a good histrionic-free
site in the fight/exploration of so-called intellectual property issues has real
value and I am not aware of another site that is rationally partisan and
intellectually centric on the issues.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation: Who killed the Mass. Open Document Project?
Authored by: FreeChief on Thursday, January 08 2009 @ 08:33 PM EST
Because I live in Massachusetts, I was interested in the Open Document project. If it had not been for Groklaw, I never would have never even known about it—the local newspapers said little or nothing. I have friends who don't know the story, and so I set about making a web page to explain it to them. I got some links from Groklaw, and some from Wikipedia and started to put them together to make a narrative.

I soon discovered that most of the links that point to MA Commonwealth web pages are broken. Should this go into the m meory H01e?

According to wikepedia

In early 2005, Eric Kriss, Secretary of Administration and Finance in Massachusetts, was the first government official in the United States to publicly connect open formats to a public policy purpose: "It is an overriding imperative of the American democratic system that we cannot have our public documents locked up in some kind of proprietary format, perhaps unreadable in the future, or subject to a proprietary system license that restricts access." Administration and Finance[44]
Unfortunately, the reference [44] on that page is a broken link, as are most the other links to Open Formats in the www.mass.gov web pages.

Another important broken link is to the MA Enterprise Technical Reference Model (ETRM version 3.0) (www.mass.gov Page Not Found)

You can still get later versions of the MA ETRM, after it had been updated (to remove the controversial parts?)

Does anybody have copies of these documents?

 — Programmer in Chief

[ Reply to This | # ]

Signed by Anonymous? What happened to PJ's account?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, January 10 2009 @ 04:36 PM EST
It appears all PJ's articles and comments are now posted by
"Anonymous". Why? What happened to the PJ's account?

Just curious what the reason for that might be.

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO was just a tiny battle....
Authored by: bigbert on Saturday, January 10 2009 @ 09:55 PM EST
The war has only just started. SCO was battle #1, OOXML #2 etc. Microsoft will
get more and more devious and nasty, without question.

I personally believe Groklaw should be the place where ALL the legal shenanigans
of Microsoft can be aired, as has happened with SCO. For example: when I get
asked what I have against Microsoft, I just politely point them to the Microsoft
litigation page on Groklaw, making the point that Microsoft is not the world's
most ethical company.

If the same can be done with all the documents we (the community) have / can get
on Microsoft's practices, it would help quite a bit.

The only way we can fight unethical behavior is by having ALL the information
available and present it in an honest way.

---
--------------------------
Surfo, ergo sum.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Amen! - Authored by: mcinsand on Friday, January 16 2009 @ 12:21 PM EST
How long should we preserve this content? And who should be responsible for it?
Authored by: clemenstimpler on Sunday, January 11 2009 @ 09:52 PM EST
I have been laterally involved with issues concerning digital preservation. Please do not underestimate the complexities involved. A very concise introduction from the point of view of an expert can be found here. In my perspective, it is prudent to tackle basic institutional and financial questions first before addressing technical requirements, though I am certainly aware that this may go against the grain of the community. To put it simply: The community must first decide on a timescale, before adressing the question who should preserve the content, who is supposed to pay for it, and, finally, whether and how it should be reworked before being archived. How long do we want to keep things around? 10 years, 20 years, 100 years? There is a very intriguing quote on the site referred to above: "We don't have to plan to keep everything for ever." I have not seen any consideration of this question yet. Any time span bears a price tag, btw.

Only then does it make sense to find an answer to the question which institution is supposed to be answerable for the preservation of the content on the projected timesecale. And here, the second problem looms. Another quote: "Digital cultural objects are neither intrinsically valuable nor durable. Any value arises from current perceptions and uses. There is nothing we can do about this."

Therefore, the second step in a digital preservation strategy must be to find an institution willing to see the usefulness of Groklaw content and willing to commit itself to preserve this content . Any further policies (and this even starts at the restoration of dead links) will depend on the general guidelines of this institution rather than the prefences of the community. Or, to put matters differently: Any decision on policies of how to rework the content of the site in order to "make it worth of preservation" may prejudice the choice of institutions guaranteeing its long-time accessibility. I am under the strong impression that Groklaw is about to make the third step before the first (as we say in German). I should be sorry for that.

And there is a last caveat for all of us: Take care of your spelling, it will be read by generations to come! ;)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: LuYu on Monday, January 12 2009 @ 01:38 AM EST
I apologise for waiting so long to post, but I was busy, and I needed a few days
to get my thoughts straight.

Let me start by saying that I am very grateful to PJ for creating this wonderful
resource. It was really nice to have a knight in shining armour come galloping
along to counter the wicked lies being spewed to the press by the McBrides and
their ilk. The world is a better place for having PJ, and Freedom is more
tangible in a world with Groklaw.

As such, I am obviously grieved at the passing of an era. SCO's evil brought
a good thing into existence, and now, without something so vile to compare it
to, it will seem less brilliant. Not only that, but PJ's wit needs a solid
target, and few would be able to deny that her words had aroused at least a
chuckle.

So, the question stands: What now?

Personally, I would like to see Groklaw continue in one or both of the following
directions:

a) Groklaw continues to help protect us from the Emperor, who of course, put
Darl Vader to his task. Forecasts may be bleak for the Beast at Redmond, but it
still has teeth and thousands of angry heads and, like any wounded animal, is
quite ready to do its share of damage before it expires. Big Brother Bill is no
longer running the show, but his incompetent brethren are still around to
advance the cause of tyranny and flout the rule of law for years to come. It
would be nice to have Groklaw around to expose and document this rancid entity's
relentless assault on the Constitution and laws similarly guaranteeing Freedom
around the world.


b) Groklaw expands its defence against "intellectual property" to all
fronts of the battle, primarily exposing and debunking the FUD spewed by the
*AAs. Groklaw has already helped Ray Beckerman with an important case. Why not
use this legally competent community to tunnel into the rank foundation of
falsehoods laid so liberally by the the lawyers of the content industry? These
people have been quietly stealing more and more from society in excess of a
century. They hate the First Amendment, education, and Fair Use. They are
amoral criminals that would better serve society behind bars than behind the
wheel of a Mercedes. Who but the Groklaw community has the voice and the
expertise to protect us from the forked tongues of the *AAs?

There is obviously much that remains to be done, and I hope my comment is not so
late that it goes unnoticed. Thank you, again, PJ, for making this world a
better place to live in.

---

"Proprietary software is an antisocial practice."
-- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

Preservation
Authored by: Bill The Cat on Monday, January 12 2009 @ 11:59 PM EST
This saga and fiaSCO needs to be written into a book -- much like
"Takedown" was. The story, when properly laid out would make for
fantastic reading down the road by techie and non-techie alike. I can't
remember the title of the novel about the little guy taking on the big guy
newspaper but that too was fantastic reading. Kind of like David v. Goliath in
the business world of law and corruption.

---
Bill The Cat

[ Reply to This | # ]

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